CD REVIEWS

An occasional update of music releases

* POPULAR

Frank Sinatra - Sinatra 80th: All the Best

Frank Sinatra - Sinatra 80th: Live in Concert (Capitol): The Chairman of the Board's label continues its spate of birthday salutes. The first is a two-disc collection of 40 songs, recorded between 1953 and 1960 (unquestionably the singer's glory years). It includes a song from his very first recording session (''I'm Walking Behind You''), as well as a newly remixed duet with Nat King Cole on ''The Christmas Song.'' The ''Live in Concert'' is a collection of Sinatra standards recorded at various performances since 1987. Included are his trademark introductions; the highlight is a duet with Luciano Pavarotti on ''My Way.''

- Frank Scheck

Simply Red - Life (EastWest Records): ''Life'' is quintessential Simply Red: pop/soul music, full of catchy melodies, trite lyrics, and Mick Hucknall's strong vocals. The first single ''Fairground'' uses a sample from ''Give It Up'' by the Good Men and ''Hillside Avenue'' is an attempt at reggae, which unfortunately sounds more like bad UB40 than good Simply Red. You get the feeling they should stick to what they do best and this is apparent on songs such as ''So Beautiful,'' a quietly bitter look at superficiality, and the closing ''We're in This Together.''

- Alison Boyles

* SOUNDTRACK

Zhang Guangtian - ''Shanghai Triad'' (Virgin): The music for filmmaker Zhang Yimou's critically praised drama reflects the story's setting in gangster-infested Shanghai of the 1930s, where a young boy grows up fast while working for a godfather-type crime boss and his girlfriend, a glitzy cabaret singer. The score by composer Zhang spirals back to its main theme frequently enough to wear it out long before the disc is over. The tunes have a pleasantly nostalgic ring, though, and four songs performed by the radiant actress Gong Li lend variety and a touch of whimsy to the package.

- David Sterritt

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK